Tuesday, on FBN’s “The Evening Edit,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, detailed how Department of Justice officials were discovered to have been spying on congressional staffers during its inquiry into the agency’s Trump-Russia collusion investigation.
According to Jordan, his committee has discovered the Justice Department was spying on Jason Foster, who was an aide to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
Partial transcript as follows:
MACDONALD: So, is this the story? DOJ officials were caught spying on Congress. They illegally spied on congressional staffers who were working on the investigation of the botched Trump-Russia probe?
We now know that they spied on congressional staffers. We want to know, how far does it go? Were they spying on members? Were they spying on other staffers? Never forget, Liz, we know they spied on President Trump’s campaign. We know all that from the FISA court and what they did with Carter Page and Papadopoulos, everything else.
Now we have learned that they spied on one of Senator Grassley’s staff members, Jason Foster. We want to know, does it go further? So we have sent letters not only to the Department of Justice, but to all these carriers that the Department of Justice worked with, to get the phone records, the e-mail records from congressional staffers like Mr. Foster.
How far does this go? Were they spying on members? Were they spying on other staff? We want to know, and that’s why we’re taking it — because, again, the chilling effect this has — remember, we have a constitutional duty to do oversight of the executive branch.
If members of Congress and their staff now think, well, wait a minute, is the federal government, is the executive branch spying on us, looking at everyone I call, looking at all the e-mails we send from our work phone, from our personal phone? That’s going to have a chilling effect, and not to mention the separation of powers, which is a hallmark of our constitutional system.
So, how did you find out that they were spying on congressional staffers? I mean, what were they looking at, phone records or e-mails? What was it?
JORDAN: Well, we think it’s both.
And after so many time — so much time, after five, six years, they let Mr. Foster know the — Google did. So that’s why we have sent a letter to Google and the other carriers, as well as to the Department of Justice. Give us the answers. Since 2016, what have you been doing?
Who, if any, people have you been spying on? Who — what phone records, what e-mails have you got from any congressional staff or, just as importantly, any members of Congress?
So this congressional staffer, Mr. Foster, who worked for Senator Grassley, he says he got an e-mail…
MACDONALD: … from Google revealing Justice Department officials were demanding his own Google voice records between, I think, December 2016 and May of 2017.
MACDONALD: And so now you’re saying Apple, Google, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, you got to give us records on this.
Is that what’s going on?
JORDAN: Exactly right.
We want to know who else. We want to know how extensive this was, who all was involved, how many — how many, if any other staffers they were looking into, because, remember, they were investigating the very people who were investigating the Justice Department, because this is all in the context of the Crossfire Hurricane, the Trump-Russia issue.
So, Mr. Foster, Mr. Grassley were investigating that. And so the Justice Department starts looking at them. We know they did the same thing to some of Devin Nunes’ staff and House intelligence staff people.
JORDAN: So this is, how pervasive was this? How far did it go. We think the American people and Congress are entitled to those answers. We’re determined to get them.
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